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Taiwan's mask donation garners warm response in Philippines

TECO representative pens letter detailing Filipinos' gratitude, calls on WHO to allow Taiwan's participation

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Taiwan's donation of 300,000 face masks

Taiwan's donation of 300,000 face masks (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines (TECO Philippines) Representative Michael Hsu (徐佩勇) told Philippine media that after Taiwan donated 300,000 medical-grade masks to the archipelago country, Filipinos’ reactions have been moving.

The Philippine Star and the Malaya Business Insight on Monday (April 27) published a letter by Xu titled "Taiwan can help combat COVID-19: Working together for the benefit of humankind." In the letter, Xu wrote that the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic poses serious challenges to the international community, including Taiwan and the Philippines, according to CNA.

Taiwan previously donated 300,000 medical-grade masks in the Philippines on April 15, garnering a warm response from Filipinos. Xu mentioned that “The enthusiasm and touching feedback from Filipino brothers and sisters has taken me by surprise."

He said that in order to control the spread of the epidemic, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte implemented enhanced community isolation on Luzon island. However, after this measure is lifted, there is no plan on how to adjust to a post-virus life. During this difficult time, as a neighbor of the Philippines, Taiwan hopes to share its epidemic prevention experience which avoids implementing any lockdowns, Xu stated.

The representative wrote that after Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare established the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on January 20, the center took rapid and decisive actions to combat the epidemic, including early prevention measures, strict border controls, effective phone tracking, and big data analysis.

He said that daily televised press conferences, an advanced health care system, strong research capabilities, transparency, and public trust in the government have allowed the island nation to successfully curb the coronavirus pandemic.

Xu wrote that Taiwan hopes to continue to cooperate with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other bilateral and multilateral partners to defend global health and stop the spread of this infectious virus. He also called on the WHO secretary-general to put politics aside and allow the island nation to fully participate in WHO meetings, mechanisms, and activities to achieve the goal of "health for all."

Xu pointed out that Taiwan is willing and ready to share its coronavirus prevention strategy with the world. Incorporating Taiwan into the global public health system will enable it to make substantial contributions, not only ensuring the right to health of 23 million people but also bringing benefits to the global fight against coronavirus.

Xu concluded that all countries should exhibit the same spirit of "bayanihan," or spirit of communal unity and cooperation to achieve their goal of quelling the pandemic.